Wahoo wake up, Big Crowds, Tuna and Marlin Targeted for $ ~ October 26, 2013


October 26, 2013
Anglers –

Los Cabos is bustling now with visiting anglers and vacationers from various countries, peak fall season is now happening, with high stake tournaments being the main events. Weather conditions are now ideal, as Tropical Storm Raymond remained far to the south, heading on westward path. Southern Baja felt no effects from this system, besides moderately increased swell activity. Days have been clear and sunny, high temperatures in the mid 80s, with lows dropping into the upper 60s, there is a chill in the air early morning, so remember to dress accordingly.

Sportfishing fleets are now very busy and charters have been searching the fishing grounds in all directions to find best possible opportunities. Anglers encountered breezy conditions at times, normal fall patterns, with wind off the land early, then later switching out of the north after the sun comes up, but overall the ocean conditions were favorable, water temperatures averaging 85 degrees from the Golden Gate Bank on the Pacific, all the way to Los Frailes in the Sea of Cortez.

Bait suppliers are working overtime in order to find available bait sources for the scores of charter boats. Sardinas were now found schooling near Cabo San Lucas, limited amounts for the demand required from such large numbers of charters. There have been caballito, other small jacks and ballyhoo available, squid were not found in local waters, but some super market do stock slabs of the giant squid, this can be an option for anglers wishing to drift fish for tuna.

Wahoo went on the first real active bite of the season this past week, actually was very good over last weekend and through early this week and then tapered off towards the end of the week, that can be the story when targeting the elusive wahoo. The best spot recently was the San Luis Bank, anglers reported early morning strikes on trolled lures and then later as the sun rose in the sky, slow trolling with the larger baits was more productive, lots of boat pressure, creating a noisy commotion, which can cause these wahoo to be more finicky. Many charters were reporting landing two of three wahoo, with other missed strikes, sizes averaged from 25 to 45 lb. Rapala diving plugs in purple were one of the more productive lures for the week.

Dorado have been found on all of the same fishing grounds, on some days more than on others, catches could vary from maybe one dorado to over a half dozen, depending where the schools were found. Trolling with lures and various baitfish were working well for locating dorado, average sizes ranged from 5 to 15 lb.

Good numbers of football sized yellowfin tuna could be caught if live sardinas were obtained, even if the baits were super small, the fish were still hitting on them, particularly on the Gordo Banks and north to the Iman Bank. Though without the sardinas it was hard to get the smaller tuna to bite, a handful were taken on yo-yo style jigs and strip squid was working at times as well, but the sardinas are what these yellowfin really prefer. The cow sized yellowfin tuna are still lurking around the Gordo Banks, no big numbers of these tuna are being hooking into, but everyday there have been at least a couple of big hook ups, one local boat brought in 237 lb and 270 lb. cows on consecutive days, so it seems this action for the cows is heating up just in time for the upcoming WON Tuna Jackpot.

Billfish have been scattered recently, but as is normal during the fall season, on any given day there is always a chance at hooking into either a sailfish, a striped marlin or a much larger black or blue marlin. All of these species can be encountered on the same general fishing grounds.

With increased surface action opportunities, there was not much bottom action going on, though for anglers that did target bottom species, there was limited success found, a mix of snapper, bonito, cabrilla and pargo, though no consistent bite and breezy conditions created faster drifts, which made this form of fishing more difficult.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 176 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 3 blue marlin, 12 striped marlin, 15 sailfish, 36 wahoo, 1 pompano, 5 dogtooth snapper, 16 bonito, 38 pargo, 12 cabrilla, 92 dorado, 2 roosterfish and 185 yellowfin tuna.

Good fishing, Eric

Yellowfin Tuna Bite, Bait is Scarce, Wahoo Wake Up ~ Oct. 19, 2013


October 19, 2013
Anglers –

The week started out with the passing of Tropical Storm Octave, this latest system followed a path a couple of hundred of miles off to the west of the Southern Baja Peninsula, before making landfall north of Magdalena Bay. Local Ports were officially closed Sunday afternoon until reopening Tuesday morning, higher ocean swells, winds gusts to 30 mph and moderate to heavy rainfall was the main impact felt, with isolated rainfall totals of 3 to 5 inches were reported. Needless to say the roads were a flooded mess. With tournament season now here, there are large crowds of anglers arriving from all around the world. The weather has now settled and conditions are ideal, highs in the upper 80s and early mornings are very comfortable with a light wind breaker jacket.’

Ocean water temperatures are still in the 85 degree range, clean blue water is found within a few mile of shore, though baitfish have become harder to obtain. Sardinas are now schooling near Cabo San Lucas, though this preferred baitfish have not been schooling near San Jose del Cabo. Caballito has been another bait option, available in limited quantities. Out of San Jose del Cabo fleets have been using fresh caught squid, imported from the Los Frailes area, though over this recent full moon phase, suddenly this resource of squid has vanished and carnaderos (bait suppliers) are once again scrambling to find new options. Ballyhoo have not been available on a regular basis either, this is the time when more artificial lures, jigging and other alternate techniques will be used, we do anticipate that the bait situation will rebound, hard to say exactly when this will happen, as global weather patterns can alter normal migration habits. Of course the heavy presence of factory processing ships targeting sardinas in Mag Bay certainly does not help the situation.

The most consistent fishing action recently was found from the Iman to San Luis Bank. This is where sportfishing fleets from all directions are congregating, dicing and chumming with fresh cut squid, while drift fishing with strips of the same bait on light tackle, this technique has been producing good numbers of yellowfin tuna in the 8 to 20 lb. class. At times the yellowfin proved to be finicky, moving around rapidly, up and down, appearing and disappearing just as quickly. The same fishing grounds were producing a mix of wahoo and dorado, but not in any significant numbers, more wahoo were actually landed on stripped squid, as were caught on traditional trolling lures. The wahoo that have been accounted for averaged 25 to 40 lb. Dorado schools have spread out, even though the warm water conditions would seem favorable for these fish, hard to say where they have gone. There are some sailfish and marlin hanging around the same grounds where the yellowfin tuna are schooling. A handful of marlin over 500 pounds have been accounted for by tournament teams trolling these same grounds.

Off the bottom there were a few quality sized grouper landed, as well as a handful of amberjack, dogtooth snapper, pargo colorado, cabrilla, bonito and huachinango. Anglers used various whole and cut baits and yo-yo jigs to find mixed success off the bottom

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 155 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 2 blue marlin, 8 striped marlin, 13 sailfish, 32 wahoo, 6 amberjack, 7 rainbow runner, 6 dogtooth snapper, 20 bonito, 18 huachinango, 14 grouper, 28 dorado and 730 yellowfin tuna.

Good fishing, Eric

Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado, Billfish and Wahoo Provide Action ~ October 12, 2013


October 12, 2013
Anglers –

Scores of anglers continue to arrive in Los Cabos, anticipation is high, as this is always the most popular season for a variety of gamefish and weather conditions are ideal. Skies have been clear, plenty of warm sunshine, highs of about 90 degrees. Early mornings now have a fall chill to them, winds were increasingly unpredictable this week, at times blowing hard from the south, then the next day from the north, this pattern limited where sportfishing charters could comfortably fish, though for the most part ocean conditions were pleasant. Water temperatures are still about 85 degrees in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, Pacific waters are slightly cooler. Strong currents have persisted, though have slacked at given times, blue water is now found closer to shore, though choppy conditions for a few days stirred the visibility up a bit.

The bait situation has been limited to purchasing fresh dead squid from vendors at the dock area, some live caballito and other small jacks available after launching, no reports of finding new sources of sardinas, a few rumors being spread that so and so netted some of these baitfish somewhere, though definitely not found in any quantity to support the local fishing fleet at this time, makes us wonder if this will be the season we do not even see sardinas until winter time, migration patterns can be altered, maybe this is what has happened, this is normally the time when we would find schools of sardinas holding along inshore rocky beach stretches.

Panga fleets encountered the most consistent action on the fishing grounds from Iman, San Luis and north to Vinorama. This is where the majority of charters are concentrating; even the fleets from the East Cape are making the long run south to get into the action. Using strips of squid while drift fishing over the banks have produced good numbers of yellowfin tuna in the 8 to 15 lb. range, at times a larger grade of tuna to over 20 pounds were located. Dicing squid into small pieces for chumming the fish to the surface has been the ticket, at times this has also been attracting dorado, wahoo and even sailfish or striped marlin. Everyday there have been reports of wahoo landed by chance on the strips of squid on monofilament, though anglers specifically targeting wahoo with lures or larger baitfish, rigged on wire leaders have not been reporting much at all, at least this is what is reported out of San Jose del Cabo, there were additional reports of wahoo being hooked off of Cabo San Lucas grounds while trolling open waters, same areas where good numbers of dorado are being accounted for, though not much tuna action being reported out of Cab San Lucas.

Only a few reports of larger yellowfin tuna being hooked into on the Gordo Banks, these fish are still holding on the banks, though have not shown in any significant numbers yet this season, nevertheless this is the spot where many top teams will be concentrating on during the tournaments. Recent trend for taking a strike from a large tuna, has been while trolling larger baitfish such as bolito or skipjack, these baitfish are schooling on the same banks, though can be finicky to catch at times.

Not that much bottom action being reported, strong currents and limited results has seen more charters targeting the available surface species. A handful of nice red snapper (huachinango) were taken on yo-yo jigs, as well as a few amberjack, rainbow runners, bonito, cabrilla, grouper, pompano and even one nice roosterfish hooked off the bottom on the Iman Bank.

Billfish action has been spread out, no particular hot spot, sailfish and striped marlin are being hooked into on the same grounds where the schooling yellowfin are, a few reports of strikes on larger trolled baits, the same football sized tuna work ideal for trolling for black and blue marlin, though we have not seen any significant numbers of the larger marlin. Surely the main concentrations of stripers are now congregating near Magdalena Bay.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 182 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 3 roosterfish, 2 pompano, 11 striped marlin, 15 sailfish,1 black marlin,14 wahoo, 28 bonito, 8 amberjack,10 rainbow runner, 4 dogtooth snapper, 32 huachinango, 7 pargo colorado, 13 cabrilla, 11 grouper, 910 yellowfin tuna and 195 dorado.

Good fishing, Eric